Mediterranean Baby Spinach Salad
#Eatmoreveggies month is just about over, but that certainly doesn’t mean that we’ll be eating less veggies! No way. All of our awesome methods to help you eat more veggies, such as turning them into noodles with a spiralizer or making them into fritters, is just the start. From there, you are free to experiment with different veggies by using these new cooking techniques.
Last week, as part of our #eatmoreveggies series, we released our 50 Simple Salads infographic, which gives salad ideas for every season. So we thought it was only fitting to feature a salad for this week’s side dish recipe. You’ll see that with this recipe, it’s as simple as it can get.
Cook Smarts members absolutely love this salad recipe. That came as a surprise to us, but that’s just it, isn’t it? Sometimes it’s the pure simplicity of a dish that can make it stand out. By letting the fresh ingredients shine on their own with some help from a flavorful vinaigrette, a simple salad can easily steal the show. (That’s why this recipe is featured on the infographic. It’s just that good!)
Winter can be a bit dreary at times, which makes this salad a fantastic winter side dish. After all the thick stews and roasted root veggies, though comforting and delicious, you start to long for the taste of crisp and bright spring vegetables. That’s why many of our winter salads contain a lot of crunch. It definitely makes a salad brighter, don’t you think?
The crispness of raw baby carrots, tanginess of kalamata olives, sweetness of baby spinach, and saltiness of feta cheese increase the flavor of this salad. We like to make our favorite red wine vinaigrette to go with it, but try brightening up this salad even more with a citrus vinaigrette, like the one shown on our infographic.
With fresh flavors like these, any of your winter blues can be easily lifted with one big bite.
For more winter salads, print out this salad chart.
For More Smarts:
If you have leftover grains in your fridge, add them to your salad to bulk it up. We added leftover couscous in ours, but it will also taste great with quinoa or farro.
You’ll see how easy it is to make your own vinaigrettes at home once you watch this video. Say bye-bye to bottled dressings and hello to healthy eating!
A whisk is a great tool to help emulsify vinaigrettes.
- Red wine vinegar – 2 tbsp
- Dijon mustard – 2 tsp
- Maple syrup – 1 tsp
- Oregano – 1/4 tsp
- Cooking oil – 3 tbsp
- Salt and pepper – to taste
- Baby carrots – 2 oz, sliced
- Kalamata olives – 1/3 cup, pitted and sliced (or choose your favorite olive variety)
- Baby spinach – 4 oz
- Feta – 4 tbsp, crumbled
- Make dressing – Whisk together red wine vinegar, mustard, maple syrup, and oregano with cooking oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- For salad | Carrots / Olives – Prep as directed. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Toss dressing with baby spinach, carrots, olives, and feta.
- Enjoy as a side salad alongside your entree!